Maimonides was born in Cordoba on 30th March 1135, from a notable Cordoban family - his father was a lawyer and a leader of the Jewish Quarter, or judería. He received his early education in the synagogue school, but his studies of mathematics and medicine were written in Arabic.
After an edict against the Jews, he was forced to leave Spain and travelled to a number of cities before settling in Cairo, where he worked as a merchant of precious stones.
Maimonides was the greatest, most universal and the most influential Jewish-Cordoban thinker. He left a wide and varied series of works both in Arabic and Hebrew – medical treatises, theological writings and philosophical tracts.
Jewish thinking reached its zenith with the writings of Maimonides, and he was named nagid (chief) by the Jewish community. He died in Cairo on 12th December 1204.